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Nickel City Triathlon - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Buffalo, New York
United States
Eclipse Multi-Sport
64°F / 0C
Total Time = 3h 04m 8s
Overall Rank = 13/19
Age Group = F65-69
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to Buffalo the afternoon before, picked up race packet & had dinner with a good friend who was putting me up. Got up at 4:45am, ate oatmeal/yogurt/raisins; beet juice, coffee. Arrived venue 5:45. Got marked etc & was able to choose where I racked my bike. As an early arrival I was able to get a spot right near the bike out/ bike in/ run out. This was a very advantageous location.
Event warmup:

Took the bike out briefly for an equipment check. Somehow again short of time, I did a short run warmup: 5 min casual walk; 5 min brisk walk; 5 min jog; 2 30-second accelerations with 1:30 in between; then 5 min walk again back to T area to suit up. I had intended to do some dynamic stretches while in the wetsuit, but couldn't find my swim cap. I did a bit of unplanned running, barefoot & in my wetsuit--back to my car to look there, then over to the registration table where I got a replacement cap. By then the race meeting had already started on the beach, so I ran down there. Fortunately I missed only the Congressman's speech. (??!) Calmed down, downed my caffeinated gel, didn't have time for a last potty stop. (Later on when cleaning up, I found the cap under my towel!)
  • 38m 36s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 21s / 100 yards

I had a few trepidations when I learned it was to be a mass start of all Oly men and women together, but that turned out to be only 19F and 46M so it wasn't bad. I was surprised the race was so small--only 200 participants in all events--since the city is pretty big. After the starting melee, I got a nice long ride drafting a swimmer for more than half of the first loop; but then I allowed myself to fall back on the last side because I thought my effort to keep up might be unsustainably hard.
Between loops we had to run out of the water & back in.
On the second loop I was mostly on my own but did catch another short ride in the second part. I was at times wandering a little bit, but I sighted better & swam straighter than in previous races; the calm water helped with that. I was confident in the water & am happy with my time, so it was a good swim for me. My time was 14th out of the 19 women, all of them at least 10 years younger than me, and most of them way way younger.
What would you do differently?:

Looking at the little bit of HR data, I think that I could have stuck with the guy I was drafting without going anaerobic.
Transition 1
  • 00m 53s

Very fast, and 2nd among all women of all ages.
All smooth. Downed my gel/water mix from my little flask.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 25m 15s
  • 24.8 miles
  • 17.45 mile/hr

The roads weren't bad, but there were a lot of manhole covers. I made the mistake of running right over one which jolted me so hard some of my fuel bounced out of my bento box. I was worried it would flat me but it was my lucky day I guess; from then on I was careful to ride around the manholes
I was riding with a power meter & defined targets. My target for the 1st loop was 80-83% ftp, for the second loop 85% ftp. My actual averages were 82% for the 1st loop and 84% for the second loop. That wasn't too bad, considering that even on a pretty flat course it was hard to keep the power just where I wanted it and there was a lot of moment-to-moment variability.
The averages don't include the last .6 miles, with a avg of 59%. I think most of that was pedaling with my feet on top of my shoes wondering where the heck the turnoff was. I had made a point of memorizing exactly where the dismount line was, and had seen that it was just after the turnoff from the road we were riding on into the park. But there were actually lots & lots of turnoffs & they all looked the same!
Nutrition: 5 Perpetuem Solids, 3 Endurolyte caps,1 bottle Heed and most of another bottle plain water..
What would you do differently?:

I really REALLY need to make a point of memorizing not only the dismount line but also some landmarks that are out 50-100 yards. I'm unnecessarily losing time at the end.
Transition 2
  • 00m 30s

Not only was this the fastest time among all women at the Oly distance, but tied for the fastest if the men are included. I've never done so well in T2 before, or in any transition!
My racking position was very well chosen, and helped.
What would you do differently?:

Not one thing.
  • 58m 54s
  • 5.75 miles
  • 10m 14s  min/mile

I had my HR targets taped to the little water bottle I carry. Although far from last, I was way behind almost everyone and was running by myself (and hoping the volunteers had sent me in the right direction!). I was running by HR, and after the first 3k trying to push myself harder to achieve my targets.
Those 1st 3k were not too uncomfortable building from high z2 to low z3, except that I had something in my shoe which went from being annoying to feeling like it would rip up my skin. I finally stopped around mile 2 to take my shoe off & found an earplug inside! (Good thing my shoes are easy on/off) I thought it must have bounced in there after ther swim, but later found that it was an extra one, in there all along
The 2nd 3k I was pushing myself to bump the HR up and it wasn't so easy now; but I did finally accomplish it. In the 3rd 3k I was having a hard time going beyond that to try to achieve that throw-uppy feeling that tells me I'm well up into z 4. My glutes were whining & I was arguing back that their fatigue meant only that they were at 60% of capacity. I was all set to snap into the big push for the final km and surprise! there was no final km, only the finish line. I did sprint to it, but missed out on half killing myself. Darn. The course it seems was about half a mile short.
Nutrition: 1 gel/water from my little flask about halfway.
What would you do differently?:

Check my shoes beforehand to make sure there's nothing inside!
Also, I guess I can't rely on the published race distance. I need to incorporate in my warm-up a walk or jog on the last part of the run route to identify some landmarks for my final push.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked to my car to get my recovery drink; then to the shaded pavilion to eat some pizza & cookies and wait for my award.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I keep improving with my training & with each race experience, so I'll just need more of the same.

Event comments:

I really liked this race & would do it again. It's flat & fast, and the Inner Harbor is clean & generally quite calm. I like the urban locale, with the old grain elevators as a backdrop. The Race Director & his crew (which seemed to include a lot of family) were very friendly & personable.
My own race was a huge personal best in all disciplines, including transitions. The fact that they were so even in relation to other women (14th in swim, 13th in bike, 12th in run), tells me that my swimming is improving greatly over last year, and that my pacing was good.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2016-07-23 12:00 AM
00:38:36 | 1640 yards | 02m 21s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 14/19
Performance: Good
For what it's worth, my Garmin said 1709 yards when I exited the water (at 37:52). It recorded my HR at 139 at the final exit and also took a reading at the halfway point: it was a 2-loop course and we had to run out of the water & run back in between loops. At that point HR was 132. I have no benchmarks for HR during swim, so I don't know what that all means. I glanced at my watch when I made that turn and it said 18 minutes, so the swim wasn't quite a negative splt.
Suit: full wetsuit
Course: It was a long skinny rectangle in Buffalo's Inner Harbor in Lake Erie, so it's nice & sheltered from the big lake chop. The Olympic distance does the rectangle twice, running out of the water & back in between loops.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:53
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:25:15 | 24.8 miles | 17.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 13/19
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loops along the shore, through some city streets and around a park. All flat except for a couple of overpasses.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:30
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:58:54 | 05.75 miles | 10m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 12/19
Performance: Good
By kilometer splits: HR progression: 130, 132, 135, 136, 138, 140, 140, 141, 141, 142. Pretty close to the plan. Pace: 10:06, 9:43, 9:51, 10:22, 9:48, 10:13, 10:13, 10:01, 10:14, 10:03 Not a negative split but not too bad. The 10:22 I think is where I took my shoe off.
Course: Flat course on paved footpaths, first a pretty loop out to the water, then an out-and-back on a main park path.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-07-27 4:49 PM

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Spencer, New York
Subject: Nickel City Triathlon - Olympic Course

2016-07-27 7:30 PM
in reply to: #5192912

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Spencer, New York
Subject: RE: Nickel City Triathlon - Olympic Course
This picture didn't upload correctly, so here it is.

(Nice Place for a Swim.JPG)

Nice Place for a Swim.JPG (233KB - 19 downloads)
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